I was contacted by the author of The Undertaker ages ago, asking if I would review his book. I agreed, never in a million years thinking it would take me 8 months to read the book – though that has absolutely nothing to do with the quality & everything to do with my inability to make myself read any books on my laptop. I finally got Thor, my kindle, at Christmas & when I got back to the UK I was able to add The Undertaker to it, to start reading on the bus to & from work. Well, let me just say that it is a shame I had to wait so long to read this book!
As I said to Mr. Brown when I recently emailed him to let him know how much I was enjoying The Undertaker – this book is bloody brilliant!!
The Undertaker introduces us to Peter Emmerson Talbott, a recently widowed, self professed computer geek, who has the misfortune of finding out that he is dead – or at least that someone has pronounced him dead! Peter sees his obituary (and that of his already dead & buried wife) in a Columbus, Ohio newspaper & goes there to investigate. While attending his own memorial service Peter realises that there is more to this than what seems to be on the surface (even more than a man being buried under his borrowed name & identity) & makes the mistake of deciding to investigate further, almost losing his life in the process.
I throughly enjoyed The Undertaker – it kept me glued to the edge of my proverbial seat from the first chapter onward. Brown has a style of writing which makes the book flow, dragging you into the story. His characters were likeable & easy to relate to – even if you personally had nothing in common with them – & you find yourself rooting for them to succeed at all cost. The character of Peter Talbott was very well written & Talbott came across as a funny, sarcastic, pain in the ass kind of guy that we have all had as a friend at one time or another, which is perhaps why you can’t wait for him to show up these people & make them pay for what they have done to him & to the memory of his departed wife, Terri.
My only argument with the book (and it is a minor disagreement) is that there are a couple of places where Talbott cracks jokes that I just didn’t get & that really bugged me. The first time is when he checks into a Motel 6 & tells the Front Desk agent that “…Dave sent me & asked if they really left the light on…” It’s obviously a reference to an advert(?) for Motel 6, but never having seen the ad, I found it annoying & frustrating, instead of funny – because I didn’t get the joke & it made me feel thick! The second one was also an American reference, only a lot more obscure. Talbott has just picked up a Cleveland newspaper & inside on page 4 is a story about him, featuring the photo from his California driver’s licence next to the story. Talbott “…made a mental note to cross Arnold Schwarzennegger off my Christmas card list.” Huh? I don’t get it….I suppose it’s something to do with Arnie’s being the governor of California, but I don’t really understand the reference & it bugged me because I was reading it at a time when I didn’t have access to the internet to google for an answer. I know that they are small things & probably the average American would get them & would think Brown very witty for including these references, but I don’t think non-americans are going to get the jokes. I’m Canadian & I didn’t!
Don’t misunderstand me, though. These 2 examples were minor distractions & certainly didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of The Undertaker. I think that Brown is a very talented author, I loved The Undertaker & I can’t wait to read something else by Mr. William F. Brown! I would highly encourage you to go to Amazon & buy this book for your kindle if mystery novels are your thing – you will thank me! And, if you would like more information about Mr. Brown & his other books, go here.